tv American History TV Visits Independence Missouri CSPAN January 20, 2019 1:55pm-4:01pm EST
in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies. and today, we continue to bring you unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the and public policy events in washington, d.c. and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. it is good to be back home. in what i call the center of the world. toouncer: welcome independent -- independence, missouri. home to harry truman and first lady beth turman, it is located 10 miles east of kansas city. and has a population of about 120,000. during the 1800s, independence was the starting point for settlers heading westward. bustlingwas really a town here outfitting people for the trails. others whoeet with
were setting off or may be coming back. you could join us with other wagons to form what we call a wagon train. announcer: harry truman and would marry atdy her home in independence. after the presidency, the couple and truman built his presidential library a mile from that home. >> as you enter into the main part of the museum, one of the first things you will see is the here sign thatps was given to truman and became what i call the icon object of the truman administration, because he was known so much for his decisive action and the fact that he believed very sincerely in taking responsibility for his own decisions. announcer: with the help of our comcast cable partners, for the next hour, we will learn about the city's history. we begin the future on independence with a visit to the truman home.
>> well, it is good to be back home. in what i call the center of the world. independence, missouri. i think the greatest town in the united states. i have been to europe and south america and several other places. but i still like to come back home. and i will continue to feel that way as long as i live. >> harry truman moved into this house after his wedding to his longtime love, bess wallace, after their marriage on june 28, 1919. and he moved into a home that was full of his in-laws. of the very few presidents that did not own a home of his own prior to his presidency. thishen he moved into home, his grandmother in law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, and his wife and he were living in this home as well as one of
's brothers. it was known as the gaetz mansion because it was built by best romans -- bess truman's and parents. the first part of the house was built anything six and seven and the grand edition where i'm standing was built in 1885. housedy walking by this at the turn-of-the-century would have seen probably the grandest house in the nicest area of independence. the time he became president in 1945, the house had seen better days, age was starting to show on the house. a ratheran oversaw major renovation of the house, replacing some wood and steps new paint a lovely job. she chose a new color for the home. white. it became known as the summer white house. in 1901, harry truman graduated high school not far from this
home. and in that graduating class was the great love of his life, bess wallace as well as his best friend charlie ruff. who he would call upon to become his press secretary when he became president of the united states. at about the same time, harry truman's father faced financial reversals that caused the truman family to have to leave independence. harry truman and the family would move into kansas and 90 eventually, he and the family would move onto his maternal grandparents farm in missouri. every time that harry truman would return to independence after that, he would stay at the home of an aunt and uncle, joseph and alan noland, and he would stay at the home at 216 north delaware street, and two of his favorite cousins. the home just happened to be right across the street from 219.
we like to imagine being in the joseph and alan noland home and imagining young harry truman looking across the street at 219 north delaware street, knowing the great love of his life was in that home. nd that's truman's mother, happened to make a cake for the nolans and the cake plate needed to be returned with the speed of light, truman ran across delaware street, rang the doorbell here at 219 north delaware, beth wallace answered the door and they laid eyes upon each other probably for the first time since they graduated in 1901 and that started one of the greatest presidential romances of all time. nd so the earliest letter that
survived from harry to bess was december 31, 1910 and they would court for the next nine years and then on june 28, 1919, perhaps ironically the day that the armistice was sign ending world war i, they would be married and have their wedding reception on the beautiful lawn utside of this beautiful home. this is the room where they would visit. in the room we love to talk about the painting that hangs over the fireplace. that was one of mrs. truman's favorite images of her husband and it was a painting it's a one of a kind and it was intended to be a portrait of senator harry truman. it was done by a gentleman by
the name of j. wesley jacobs. and it was started while he was the senator from the state of missouri and continued during his brief vice presidency and then completed while he was president of the united states and it's perhaps the first painting of president harry truman done from life. harry truman became a senator for the state of missouri. >> i expect to continue the effort which i've been making in that capacity as united states senator to win the peace under the direction of the great leader franklin d. roosevelt. >> and he became president at the age of 60. on april 12, 1945, harry truman
happened to be in the capital building then he received a phone call from the white house asking him to hurry to the white house and to come quietly. truman rushed to the white house and was received by eleanor roosevelt who broke the news to now president truman. eleanor said harry the president is dead. and president truman didn't know what to say. and he eventually was able to look at mrs. roosevelt and say is there anything that i could do for you? and mrs. roosevelt looked back at mr. truman and said no, harry, is there anything that i can do for you? for you are the one in trouble now. after he took the oath of office at 7:09 that night, one of his cabinet members took him aside and told him mr. president or something that you -- there's something that you need to know. and so over the next few weeks,
he would get a crash course basically in the new atomic bomb that america was developing. >> this is a solemn but glorious hour. i wish that franklin d. roosevelt had dif lived to see this day. >> harry truman's birthday was on may 8. so much of the world makes of it celebrated as victory in europe day. and as he said what, a wonderful birthday present that was that he recognized only half of job was done that even though peace was on its way to formation that the war was still raging in the pacific. and on the way home to the united states, he would authorize the use of the awe toxic bomb on military targets
in japan. history tells the rest of the story that in august of 1945, two atomic bombs were dropped. >> the japanese began the war from the air at pearl harbor. they have been repaid many fold. and the end is not yet. with this bomb, we have now added a new and revolutionary increase in destruction. >> and so the first five months of truman's presidency were among the most challenging of any president in our history. mrs. truman suffered a loss in december of 1952 with the death of her mother. she died just a few weeks before christmas in 1952 and really, just a few weeks before president truman would lead the presidency in january of 1953. she died without a will. and so what mr. and mrs. truman
did was they bought this home from the estate of page gates wallace and once all the paperwork was done, then we could legally call it the truman home. and from 1953 to 1972 were the only years in which harry and beside truman lived in this home by themselves. and many said was the happiest years of their lives. >> it is always highly appreciated. we're back home now for good. i'm in the army of the unemployed now. [laughter] very small army. and i'm here to tell you that a little later on when i get the job done, that mr. truman said -- [indiscernible]
i don't know how long it's going to take one man to get it done. [laughter] after that, i'll be open for dinner. >> after they came home in 1953, almost every room in this house got some type of a makeover where there was hard wood floors, they put up carpeting, new wallpapering and furnishings that they brought back from washington, d.c. so as they walked -- visitors walk in the house today it feels and it appears like any of the trumans were beginning to walk around the corner at any moment. and every -- everything in this house has story. they were both were fond of reading. president truman said that every leader must be a reader. and from a very young age, he was an avid reader and was of
until his passing. almost every room in this house has collection of books. so here in the living room for example, there is a bookcase here that has even a signed copy of lyndon johnson's memoirs called "the vantage point." the johnsons and the trumans were quite close right here in this room. lyndon johnson visited and not only six times but signed piece of legislation. it's found think of the people who sat on the couch. the wonderful relationship between president truman and former president herbert hoover who had different political ideologies but formed a very warm relationship in the post-presidency. i like to think about mr. and mrs. truman visiting with eleanor roosevelt. i like to think of some of the elebrities of the day.
jan denny visited this home. and they had wonderful senses of humor and i can only imagine the aughter that was in this room. we're stand negative dining room of the grand edition of the gates mansion, later the truman home and we what we see on the table today is a formal setting for six. and the setting was personally placed by margaret truman daniel. i think and when she set this that she was remembering how dinners were formal in her youth. margaret remembered that because it was her grandmother's house that she sat at one of the heads of the table and that being that she was widowed that harry truman acted basically as the male head household and he would sit at the other thovende table. and when margaret was big
enough, she would sit between her mother and her grandmother, wallace. the chandeliers that hangs is original to the 188 edition. when the trumans came home to independence in 1953 from washington, d.c., margaret was by that time in new york or in the miest of her singing and then eventually television career. and she saw that chandelier, the store in new york and september it back thinking it would put a lovely touch to the signing room at the -- that the trumans had rezone redone. and so this beautiful chandelier was assembled by entire family piece by piece and hung and installed by bess's brother, george wallace. now, in this post presidential years when it was just mr. and mrs. truman eating at this table, it probably wasn't set like this. once dinner was over for the eagle, after the dishes were done, they would proceed to go
into in the reading room because they were not television watchers and they would proceedly simply into a room that meant a lot to them. this spot is very special to all of us because behind this table, harry truman loves to spend a lot of his time here in the reading room. and on this table is one of his favorite books about one of his favorite heroes. it's a biography of andrew jackson. andrew jackson is one of his political influences and somebody who he would look to in the history books for guidance as to how to be a president of all of the people. when truman was a young man, just about six years old or so, about the time that his family moved to independence, he was diagnosed as having a condition known as flat eyeballs. so he received a pair of glass was special prescription. he was legally blind he said later change the way of his boyhood and that he couldn't
play the sports that other boys did, baseball, football, and other roughhousing. and it restricted him to playing the piano and reading. and he later claimed that the love of books came that him largely because of that increasingly ability to read. and he claimed that he read by the time he left independence every book in the independence public library. here in this room they were surrounded by the books that they loved. it's a very eclectic collection of books from a couple of editions of the holy bible to many biographies of everybody from alexander the great to jackal -- jacqueline kennedy. a wonderful collection of charles dickens. bess truman as the letters infer introduced him to the characters that charles dickens created and dickens would hold a special place in harry truman's heart. in the evening hours, they would
retreat to this room and they would sit side by side. they were lovers of classical music. to bess and harry truman, music ant chopin, beethoven, bach, most by classical music. you could always tell in those last years where mr. and mrs. were by where the lights were n. and many remember walking by and they would see the lights here in the study and through the windows, they could see the silhouettes of mr. and mrs. truman sitting and reading. he believed history was best taught by biography. when he would talk too a young person or speaking to a group of young people visiting the libraryings he would tell them that. you must read and learn our
history. you are the future of this country. mrs. truman liked history and biography as well. she was a big fan of history. and mr. truman and her daughter, margaret, they would ship back and forth boxes of mysteries and they would talk on the phone every night. and i would love to have heard some of the conversations as they talked about the books that they were reading. and i think that that perhaps inspired margaret truman to become an author of the capital crime series and on this table, at the bottom of this pile, it's actually a first edition copy of margaret truman's first mystery novel, "murder at the white house." we're going to move from the grand edition of the house back into the original 1867 portion of the house. and this is part of the pantry, the butler's pantry and one of the most wonderful objects in
our collection is a beautiful memorial plate that was given to mr. and mrs. truman in 1945 commemorating their wedding on june 28, 1919. and it's so wonderfully romantic that after nine years of court ship and after so many years of bess trumancrush on goal of aped his matrimony. we enter the oldest part of the house this kitchen. once they came home in 1953 and purchased this home and they modernized the rest of the house, this kitchen was one of the few rooms that they updated after that. so this kitchen received a few updates between 1953 and 1971. frequently, we have people say that this kitchen reminds them
of their grandmother's kitchen or the kitchen of one of their aunts or uncles or somebody in the family. many people make comments to the wallpaper and ceiling paper. and this paper was part of that last renovation in 1971. and it was chosen by president truman himself. and i always say that two of the best places perhaps to get truman d.n.a. remains under the lamp here on this wall where you could see the wallpapers worn away as they would turn on the light here and then also on this all. where you could see the wallpaper worn away under this lamp over here. one thing in this room that means a lot to us is the calendar that hangs on the wall. remains on the wall. and it's a very simple calendar. it's a government printing office calendar. and it's from october of 1982.
and mrs. truman left us on monday, october 18. d of course, the date is hashed off and her funeral would be later in the week as she wished. it was a very simple funeral. and she would be interred next to her husband and then the hash is stopped on the 26th. and after that, the house was closed. and that was the end of an era. when harry truman left the presidency on january 20 of 1953, he did not expect a big send-off from washington, d.c. but when he got the train station, there were just thousands of people there to see truman off. and that really emotionally struck mr. and mrs. truman. and along the way, at every stop there, were people crowding
around to say hello, mr. president. and he would say no, it's president eisenhower now. you can call me harry. and there were 10,000 people said glaffered and there was a et of microphones. >> you're back home now for good. i'm in the army of he unemployed now. [laughter] >> when you watch closely the faces of harry and bess truman, you really sense the love there. and the sense that they were back home. and when people would ask harry truman what he wanted to be remembered for, he would say that he wanted to be remembered as being the president of all people. and he would say that when a governor for the or a senator or
a congressman or a mayor, when they're elected to their respective positions that they are elected to represent a certain portion of the population. but there was only one person who was elected to represent all of the people of the united states and that was the president of the united states. and truman said that he would like to be remembered as being he people's president. >> i'm outside the courthouse where c-span is learning about the city's history. it was here as a presiding judge that harry truman oversaw renovations of the courthouse. we take you to the library and museum to learn about his presidential career. ♪ >> in independence, missouri, the harry truman library becomes
a reality. crowd of 10,000 witnesses the dedication. mr. truman and the chief justice take part in the ritual. >> this library is not the library. it's an arc kifes building with -- archives building with the idea of keeping a record of this government in an order manner. >> the truman library was the second presidential library established and run by the national archives and records administration but harry truman was first president to actually use his library to be an instrumental force in his library. he worked here between five and six days a week in his office here at the library from 1957 when the library opened until the mid 1960's when his health
started deteriorating. as you where into the main part of the museum, one of the first things you'll see is the famous buck stops here sign that was given to truman and became what i call the icon object of the truman administration because he was known so much about his decisive action and the fact that he believed very sincerely in taking responsibility for his own decisions. now this particular sign was made in the paint shop of the el reno federal reformatory in sexook the warden of the reformatory sent this to truman and truman said in press conferences i have on my desk a sign that says "the buck stops here." well we believe he did have it on his desk but we have never found a photograph of it on the oval office desk. but until we find a photograph showing it on his desk desk, we've displayed it out here.
harry truman became president on april 12, 1945 upon the sudden death of franklin d. roosevelt. roosevelt had been president for 12 years and many young people, especially had known no other president. harry truman was suddenly thrust into the office and this office here is actually depicted as it appeared in the summer of 1950 just shortly after the korean war had started. it's decorated exactly the way it was on that -- on a particular day in august, 1950. many of the items around the .oom are very typical of truman the desk is cluttered with a lot of transition and these are the items that happened to be on this desk.
the furniture room is all reprussian furniture because the original furniture is still at the white house. and the -- there are few exceptions but one of the most interesting piece is the large globe in front of the fireplace mantle. in 1945 in july of 1945, harry truman went to the pop stand conference. while he was on that trip, he stopped and visited general eisenhower who was the supreme allied commander during world war ii and he gave truman this globe that was one that eisenhower had used throughout the war. the irony about this is truman brought the globe back, put it in his oval office and of course, he was succeeded in 1953 by former general now president dwight eisenhower. so truman left the globe in the office for eisenhower when he got there. >> harry truman took the oath of
office as president of the united states. with the world at war he accepteded the gravest responsibility and world history. a new commander-in-chief to lead all nation to ultimate history. >> a few hours before he had been notified and summoned to the white house and notified that president roosevelt had died and this photo behind me is a scene of truman being sworn in as president. you can sort of see the shock on the people's faces. the bible that you see in the photograph is also on display behind me. he obviously was not prepared to be sworn in as president and so they just search around and found a bible in the usher's office at the white house and used it. truman subsequently used the same bible to be sworn in when he was re-elected in 1948. most americans really had no idea who harry truman was. franklin d. roosevelt was been president for 12 years, longer than any other president.
he was the only president a lot of people had known. and now suddenly harry truman who had only been vice president for 82 days is suddenly sworn in as president. >> the combined of the united states is loose upon war plans in europe. >> the world was in turmoil with wars in europe and the pacific. the war in europe was almost over. d germany surrendered on may 7, 1945. the next morning was harry truman's birthday. so the war in europe ended fairly quickly but the war in japan and the pacific was continuing. there were fire bombing raids going on in tokyo. more than 100,000 people were killed in a single fire bombing raid. but in the midst of all this, truman also wanted to continue on some of franklin d. roosevelt's initiatives one of the main ones being the founding
of the united nations. so he went to san francisco and signed a united nations charter. the first few months of his presidency was probably the most dramatic first four months of any president in american history. of course in august, 1945, the atomic bomb had been perfected. and the first bomb was dropped on her shima. >> a short time ago, an american airplane got one bomb on hiroshima. for this bomb, we have added a new and revolutionary increase n destruction.
a second bomb was then dropped on nagasaki and then japan surrenders on august 14, 1945. so in a span of four months, harry truman had overseeing the end of the wars in europe and japan. ♪ at the end of world war ii, the united states emerged as the only country that has become more prosperous during the war. but the united states still had a problem. harry truman remembered from his own world war i experience. he came back and he set up a business with his friend eddie jacob on and that business went broke during a depression after world war ii -- 1. and one of troup's goal was to try to have a rational logical reconversion of the military economy to back to a peace time
economy. people had earned money during the war but there was nothing to spend it on during the war. so there was a lot of pent-up urge on the part of consumers to spend money after the war to buy things. and that, of course, would put extreme pressure on prices and prices would go up. so truman was trying to use the government to kind ambulance all this out and make a -- balance all this out and make a smoother economy to a peace time economy. even though truman was very much supportive of unions, he faced a real backlash from unions and workers after the war because of this. and so he had this habit of writing what we call diary enters. there are -- they are written on loose leaf pieces of paper. but in this particular one, truman is venting his anger at the unions for opposing him and his post-war economic policies.
truman says let's give the country back to the people. let's put transportation and production back to work. hang a few traitors and make our own country safe for democracy. tell russia where to get off and make the united nations work. come on, boys. let's do the job. truman used these diary sfwross vent his own frustration. they were not made public during his lifetime but it was a way for him to actually get over his anger about many issues. and we see this throughout his presidency. once the united states had gone through its reconversion from military to peace time economy, consumer spending went way up. it was really the beginning of a post-war economic boom which lasted for a number of years. and so americans were becoming ry consumer oriented but the situation was much different in europe after the war.
in europe, not obviously was there physical damage from world war ii still remaining but europe went through a couple of the worst winters in record. and people were -- the were a lot of people who were starving but there was a lot of political nrest as well. so they had to help them out. the truman administration response to the challenges in europe really took two forms. it became the policy of the government to support countries that were having difficulties and that started with what we call the truman doctrine and it was based on a speech that he gave in neun 47. >> we meghan danger the peace of
the world and we shall endanger the welfare of this nation. great responsibilities have placed upon us by the swift movement of events. i am confident that the congress will face these responsibilities squarely. >> the key line of the speech is here. it says "i believe that it must be the policy of the united states to support free people who are revisiting by armed minorities and by outside pressures." the truman doctrine was $400 million worth of foreign aid given primarily to greece and turkey. the british had supported a lot of these countries before the war who were pretty much bankrupt after world war ii and they said they could no longer provide financial aid. so truman supported some of these countries.
and that eventually led to truman's bigger foreign policy initiative which was the marshall plan named after george marshall who was the secretary of state at the time but of course, had also been the leader f the military forces during world war ii. effective it would be and the efforts to convey that this is an aggressive front are pure propaganda. >> the european countries had to work among themselves to decide how the money would be spent. and was primarily used on big infrastructure projects that helped rebuild the infrastructure of european nations. it's considered one of the most
successful foreign policy initiative necessary history of the united states. this is a all right that -- letter. this is a letter that harry truman wrote to his wife, bess. she spent here in independence. one of the real gems of our collection as we have more than 1,300 of harry truman's letters to his wife, bess. and he talks about real issues happening. he's using her as a sounding board and he did that through his whole life. he would run things past her and there's not much public. bess did not like to be a public person but we did know that he confided? her and he trusted her judgment. in this case, he's talking about the marshall plan and he says dear bess, yesterday one was of the most hectic of days as i've told you. i'm not sure what has been my worst day, but here's a situation fraught with terrible consequences. and then he goes on to talk about, you know what, if we
don't give foreign aid to these countries? we could devolve into another war which would be very frightful. at the same time in the late 1940's when truman and his foreign policy advisers had put together things like the truman doctrine and the marshall plan, the tensions between the united states and the union were growing much stronger. it was basically the beginning of what we now know as the cold war. and truman's foreign policy advisers had work through and recommended that the united states form a military awlinse with other european countries. and so nato became formed in 1949. it's the first peace time alliance that the united states had hat -- had had. hot point was the issue of berlin. at the end of the world war ii, germany was divided and into zones of occupation.
the western zones were controlled by the united states, great britain and france. but the capital of germany, berlin was buried deep inside the soviet zone. and so when tensions between the united states and soviet union came too great, the soviet union blockaded berlin and the question for harry truman was what is our solution? and that was to salute an airlift providing supplies into berlin from the air. and at once this got started, it turned out to be quite successful. it and really respond and at one ., about 594 planes each day flew supplies into berlin to
keep the city going. and they would not only airlift in food and fuel, now the airlift went on for well over a year but the soviet union eventually opened back access to erlin. world war ii, there were many displaced persons and the holocaust had devastated the jews in europe. so truman had a particular interest in trying to help the survivors of the holocaust. and many of them tried to get to palestine and the british had tried to keep them from getting into palestine. but the british made notice that like they had done in greece and turkey, there would back point
where they would not be able to do the financial aid that they had been doing. so that date was mid may of 1948. so at that point, truman knew that a decision had to be made as to whether or not he would recognize the proposed state of israel that was being proposed by the jewish community. and this led to the most profound debate within his own administration. he had advisers on both sides of the issues. of those who opposed it the person truman respected the most was george marshall. and of those who supported the idea of recognizing israel, truman followed the advice of a domestic adviser clark clifford. ultimately it came down to the day and truman decided to recognize the state of real and he did so with this little press release here. it's a very simple little press release in which he states that he recognizes the state of israel. and it's dated may 14, 1948 and
at the bottom, you'll note it says 6:11. that's the time of day in washington and that's 11 minutes after israel was actually founded. so this united states became the first nation to recognize israel. reaction at the time in the united states was pretty favorable to the decision although it remains in the news today. you read your daily newspapers and you know that the issue has not gone away. that there are still tensions. great tensions in middle east. so like many of truman's decisions he made at the time, a lot of those decisions still affect us today. and israel, the recognition of israel is one of the biggest. >> from the decisive battle has arrived. the people are going to have to choose one side or the other. the democratic party and i have nothing to conceal. >> in 1948, truman had decided
to run for second term as president. he was trailing very, very badly in the polls. he was receiving a lot of criticism. in 1946, what had been a democratic congress had been replaced with a republican congress. but so truman faced an uphill battle in his 1948 presidential election campaign. he decided to make it a whistle stop tour and we saw the pictures of he and bess and margaret stand on the back of the train. this is a reprussian of the ferdinand magellan. we have a map of his whistle stop campaigns and it shows a number of different train trips across the country. and what really stands out are two areas of the country that he really did not visit. one is the south and there's a really logical explanation for this. in those days, the south was considered a solidly democratic block. there was no fear on the part of
truman's staff that he would lose the south to his republican rival thomas dewy. the other area is the upper midwest, which was pretty much avoided because it had very few echt really a vote. at every whistle spot stoop, he had a four-part speech. first part was thanking his local community for inviting him and recognizing a local dignitary there. the second part was that he would talk about the great accomplishments that had been made under democratic administrations from franklin roosevelt through harry truman. the third part was he would attack not his republican opponents thomas dewy but the republican do nothing congress he ran against congress. and he said that they would -- if they were allowed to go on, they would take away of the
credit benefit that is the democrats have brought people over the years. and if bess and margaret were with him on the train, he would like to say now i would like to introduce you to the boss and bess was could out and if margaret was comement come out, and he would say i would introduce you to the boss's boss and margaret would come out. truman wins the election in 1948. and there's the famous shot of him at the train station in st. louis where he holds up a copy of the "chicago tribune" which had been printed earlier and mistakenly said that dewy had won the election. so that became one of the most famous photos of the whole truman administration. we do have a copy of that newspaper on display in the case in front of the photograph. as truman now has been elected in his own right, he not obviously won the election, but we brought with him a democratic congress. the democratic president,
democratic congress he feels like he has the ability to pass significant legislation. >> in the coming years, our program will emphasize four major courses of action. >> so he propose what's been called the fair deal. it's a whole series of legislative proposals, domestic proposals that truman had issued and he made a speech in his inaugural speech and it had a whole number of planks on them and he discovered it's harder to pass legislation than he thought even with a democratic congress. so the blue areas up here are things that he was able to get through congress but you can see all the red for some of his proposals that did not pass congress. this is a map of asia. it's actually an inverted globe of asia. and this is another one of the unintended things that truman found after his election in
1948. in decision the fair deal, suddenly during his second term, there became a number of hot spots in asia. during his first time he focus mostly on europe. the marshall plan, truman doctrine. but in the beginning of 1949, truman's second term, there war number of places in asia that started using problems. one was the communest forces in china were overoverwhelming the nationalist forces and the communityist would take over china. another was in all of southeast asia. the colonel governments of preworld war ii colonial governments were collapsing and there were a number of national muchtse going on in southeast asia. and finally the big issue that truman felt faced during the second term was the korean war that broke out to the korean peninsula. so this part of the exhibit we
call 10 faithful months and it's the 10 months after truman was inaugurated for his second term and things are going on all over the world. china is going the communist. also the soviet union exploded their own awe toxic bomb. and so suddenly, there's the united states is not the only nation that the soviet union that the scovet has one as well. and it causes truman to support the hydrogen bomb. the cold war between the sexovet .he united states is ramping up so there's a real push by epublicans and by democrats. boom became very suspicious of
other government employees. the fear of communism was both domestic and international. over on the side over here, we have a number of posters and booklets, anti-communist booklets. there were movies, information about building bomb shelters and a general fear that the united states was infiltrated by communitieses. -- communists. as a result of that, there was a difficulty that -- document that called for all-out anti-communist efforts on the half of the united states government ramping out funding for military, for also for espionage and so forth. and this is a copy of the n.f.c. 68 report. truman was very skeptical of this when it first came out in april of 1950.
but as we see as the korean war gets going going, truman gradually comes around to supporting the further exploration of the provisions of it. and it could be the call at which the military industrial complex began. it's sort of the underpinnings of what became the military industrial complex. the real hot point in truman's second term was the korean war when in late june 1950, north korean forces suddenly crossed the 38th parallel into south korea. truman was here in independence at his home when he got a call that it had happened. and he immediately flew back to washington so they could have meetings about what to do about the north korean invasion of south korea. the concern of truman's part was who was actually behind this invasion? was it just the rogue leader of north korea who decided to
launch an attack on south korea or was he being backed by the soviet union and or china? so truman's fear was we got too involved in it, it could trigger world war iii. the same situation he had in europe with the berlin crisis but he ultimately did so authorize measure forces who are stationed in japan as an occupation force. he authorized them to go to korea to help stop the north korean invasion. and one of those interesting things again is one of this diary entries. this one is dated june 30, 19a and he said the army secretary had called him and said that general macarthur who was the command in asia had asked for ground troops to be sent in to korea. and ultimately truman authorized that that he in the process he did a lot of his thinking in
these diary entries that he would write out. and so in this one, he talks about the process he went through to decide to authorize sending american troops to korea. but he also wanted to make it a united nations effort. so he tried to enlist nationalist chinese force, forces from australia, canada, and a number of other nations in the effort. it did become a combrited nations although this americans slide prominent -- predominant number of military troops. he said it was the most difficult decision he made as president. and the reason for that was this whole question about would it start world war iii? troops had just come back from the second world war five years earlier. america is tired of being at war. would it lead a wider engagement
against china? so these are a lot of the tough questions he was wrestling with. so for those reasons, he thought it was the most difficult decision he made as president. and there has never been a peace treaty. it's based on an arm industries signed in 1953. the two forces are still at war. they've just have an armistice in placement >> a the inauguration was over which was consummated by the chief justice of the united states, i immediately went back, got in my car, ran out to -- house and we had a wonderful luncheon and then run down to the station to leave town. and you never saw touch turnout. it is estimated by the russian police that there were 9,000 people there. >> when truman decided not run for another term as president, he and bess happily came back to
independence and moved into the house that they had shared since they were married in 1919. so what does a former president end up doing? truman was still healthy. he did not have a really secure future. he wasn't sure what he was going to do but what he did know was he was very clear about separating harry truman the man from harry truman the president. and so when he came back to independence, he wanted to become part of the community again to return home as a child he had read about cincinnatis who has gone to war and does his public service and then went back to farming. he learned his lessons from george washington who had his home, went off to war and then to leave the country and then went back home. this is what harry truman banned to,, -- wanted to do. he came back to independence and really desired to be just a typical person, a citizen of independence.
we hope that when visitors come here, they actually learn several things. number one, it goes back to that "buck stops here" sign that we saw earlier. take your responsibility for your decisions. making zingses but then staying with them, living with them, not pass the buck to someone else. the other is the idea of public service. americans owe something to their country and they shouldn't expect to get paid back for it. they should -- it should be part of their public service to their community, whether it's local, state, national or whatever. the other thing is just learning. harry truman was a >> so rains rashese reader and he wanted to encourage people to read and we hope the exhibits here tell at least the tip of the iceberg about truman and his decisions but what we really want people to do is go home and read more about their history, read more about the presidency and the american government.
>> the truman farm home is located in grand view, missouri, about 15 hins from independence. it was built by his grandmother in 1894 and the future president lived here from 1906 until he left for world war i in 1917. up next, we'll take you to the truman presidential library to learn about his military service and how that help shape his presidency. >> this is an exhibition about harry truman in world war i. truman was the only president who served in combat in world war i. and this is the story of his livelihooding up to the war, why he went to the war, what he did in the war and what lessons he learned from the war. there were other president who is did -- had important roles, for example, herbert hoover, did relief programs. franklin roosevelt was the assistant secretary of the navy. and dwight eisenhower, of
course, became the commander during world war ii. he was running a base on the home front. so he did not get into combat in the war. so truman's experiences are pretty unique since he was the only president to serve in combat. we've selected this title "heroes are corpses" for this show. it's taken from a memoir that he wrote about his experiences as he was leaving new york harbor on the ship on the way to france in 1918. he wrote in that he was wondering if hay would come back heroes a corpses. harry truman's interest in the military started at very early age because he loved to read and he was reading books about history and biography and he read about great military leaders. but in decision that, harry truman was very much a fraternity type person. hi needed the camaraderie of other men. he would be a joiner of organizations he join this may
sons. and one of the things he did was he joined the missouri national guard. and he did that in 1905. and this roughly cords to the time that his -- correspondents to the time that he was called back to help his father run the family farm in grand view. while he was on the farm, he was working very hard but he also needed to get away. he needed to have the company of other young men his age. interesting story is his national missouri national guard uniform was this gorgeous blue uniform with right hand piping on it and he told the story of going home and showing the uniform to his grandfather at the farm. and he had survived the civil war, lived through civil war and he had the entire family had been southern sympathizers. and they remembered the jacquers from kansas coming -- jayhawkers and when she saw the blue
uniform, she said don't ever come back here wearing a blue uniform and truman says i never did. his grandmother got to have his national guard uniform just once. in june of 1914, world war i started with the assassination of france ferdinand. so truman came responsible of the primary person responsible for running the farm. so even though the war was starting in europe, but the united states and harry truman were not involved it in. truman would read the news but there was nothing he could do. but meanwhile, he had a girlfriend that he lived in independence, bess truman. and he decides the best way he could get from the farm to bess's home in independence was to buy a car. o he bought a 1911 model stafford automobile built in kansas city. and here's a photo of him and
bess is sitting in the front seat with him and he's out for a little spin. but he's running the farm doing hard work on the farm while the war is unfolding in europe. he gives up his stint in the missouri national guard because he was needed so much at the farm. but that's where things were as the united states started heading towards war which they finally entered the 1917. when the united states finally does enter the war, harry truman rejoined the national guard. he was 33 years old. so he's older than most soldiers and that became a minor issue. the other main issue was his eyesight. and according to him, he memorized this eye chart before he had to take the eye test so he could pass the eye test. because his eyes were very bad for his entire life. and there because chance that he wouldn't be accepted had he had
to pass the eye test legitimately. harry truman was shipped out in the spring of 1918 to had had off to europe but oh thoin way there, he was sent to new york city. and just before he left, his girlfriend bess truman gave him this little oval photograph and with it a little note that asked him to bring it home safely, to come home safely. he kept this in his shirt pocket throughout the war and then after the war he put it in a little frame and he kept it on one of his desks that he had throughout his entire political career. wally was waiting to get shipped oversays and he found an eye doctor that would make new glasses for him. he wrote to bess who said in the process of making the new glasses, the he chipped one of the lenses. and he told bess that he kept the lens and we actually have found that lens in our collection. it's displayed right here. and it was found in truman's
little sewing kit which was also displayed here. it's a nice example of being able to compare a letter that he wrote to his girlfriend, bess truman along with an artifact we have in our cliques. so truman is shipped out in the spring-of-1918 and he heads off to europe. when truman left for france, he is lieutenant truman. he received a promotion to captain and didn't find out about it for months. so when he left for europe, he had his tack box where he kept his equipment for his horse and on it, he had written in black print "lieutenant harry s. truman." once he found out he had been promoted to captain he wrote over the top of that. so it shows both the before and after his promotion in the service. the first thing truman did when he went to france was he was assigned to special advanced artillery training school at a
small village in france. and these are some of the tools he would use and equipment that for his artillery training, includes slide rules and compasses and other things like that. he had his advanced training. and then he was sent and put in command of a battery. it was battery d of the 129th field artillery. they called them for battery d. these were mostly irish catholics, some german catholics from the kansas city area. and there were no one to be feisty. they had been under several commanders before truman. but truman, this is where he really displayed his sense of leadership. so eventually they became to espect him as a fairly quiet but confident of their battery.
this portable barber's chair. there was a barber for battery d. his name was frank spina and he took it to europe and used it in the field to cut the battery's hair and frank became a friend of truman's and when frank returned to kansas city, he opened a barbershop and truman became his regular customer for the rest of his life. truman was sent to france, along the front lines in france, mostly in the argonne valley. truman faced a challenge in the war once given command of battery d, and what has become known as the battle of wh hoorun. the field pieces
into position and had fired off a volley, the germans fired back, and there are shells firing all around. most of the men broke and run b ut truman did not. that is where he showed his first test of having courage in battle. .e served in the mountains -- armisticeassist was reached, heated didn't have to fight anymore. he wanted to use some sightseeing. he took men from his unit and they traveled around mostly southern france to see various sites. he would write to beth from various locations, once from
monte carlo. he wrote, dear beth, it is a gaudy place. just what you would expect from a place whose sole income is made from gamblers. the fleecing isn't done at the casinos but the cafes. return to thee to united states in the spring of 1919. on the way back, his battery members gathered together and made donations to raise money to ,ive truman a loving cup inscribed to harry truman from his battery d associates. truman was very proud of this. after the war when he set up his haberdashery business, he displayed this. people from his unit would come in and it would be a place where they could gather and gab about the war.
there was a nice photograph of and thebattery d officers of the field artillery front and center in that photo. 1919, harry truman won is greatest battle when he married beth wallace, his longtime girlfriend. their wedding was june 20 8, 1919, exactly five years -- june 28, 1919, exactly five years to the day from when archduke france ferdinand was assassinated and the war began. important day for truman on many accounts. truman was a woodrow wilson democrat.
after world war ii could a -- truman was war ii, determined to make the united nations work. after the war, truman went into the haberdashery business which failed because of the depression. the economywar ii, switch from a military to consumer mode. there was the depression after world war ii. truman also believed in justice for more.
finally, truman, getting back to his sense of justice, after world war ii, they set up the nuremberg trials to mead out legal justice to the leaders of nazi germany because he felt that it wasn't right just to have vengeance after the war, the rule of law was very important. these are some of the lessons he drew from his experience in experience in world war i. >> thank you, mr. mayor. i can't tell you how much mrs. truman and i have appreciated the reception. it is magnificent. i never expected it. it warms the heart more than i anticipated it would. feelings and your thoughts of us are always highly
appreciated. >> one of the main takeaways about harry truman is the incredible character that he had going into this office. he was a man who came from nowhere. he was in missouri farmer. he rode up through the ranks to the senate, the vice presidency, and the presidency. he was a man who faced important and critical decisions. his tenure was one of the most interesting decisions in our history because of the decisions he had to make. the character that undergirds all of those decisions, the common sense, i'm from missouri, the buck stops here, attitude that he brought to the oval office makes him a unique figure in our history. the story of truman and independence are integral to one another.
truman said i tried to never forget where i was and where i came from. he also never forgot where and why he came back. he came back to independence after the presidency. he lived here as a citizen. he went around walks in this neighborhood today. people remembered walking with him and talking with him. he was involved in local issues and became an ordinary guy who lived in independence. he had a library here. it was his process -- his postpresidential legacy. he designed it to carry that message of civics. independence meant everything to harry truman. he could have gone anywhere in the country after his presidency. he chose to come home. peopledence on the map,
would see it as separate from its ownity, but it has identity and its own place in history and on the map. it is a large city. geographically. it covers a bunch of different areas and neighborhoods. the part that we are in is the historic district. the famous courthouse that we call the truman courthouse. that is where his career began. he helped model that courthouse and redesign it. the stores and restaurants and shops around the square are in keeping with the spirit of the hometown that harry truman would still recognize.. we are in the historic core. the library is the one book and area. that historic
undertaking a major renovation of the facility which includes a complete remodel of all of the exhibits that deal with truman and his time and l egacy. that is slated to take place years.uple of it will give us a stronger tie to independence. it will help independence become more of a destination. we are very conscious of trying to bring truman into the 21st century. his legacy is very relevant to our time. you cannot pick up a newspaper today and read a headline and not tied that back to something that harry truman dealt with. we are excited to have this project underway.
i think it will be a major anchor both of the historic portion of independence but also the truman legacy. >> in and we took a wagon tour ,f the city with historian ralph goldsmith. >> ralph, thank you for agreeing to show us around independence. we are doing something a little different. instead of a driving tour, we are doing a covered wagon tour. motors is the original home. this is what pioneers traveled across the nation in. this is where the trails began and the buck stopped, independence. anne today.k and we will see the actual oregon
trail, will go into the civil war battle we will explain how frank james began in that jail and have the border wall gang -- began between kansas and missouri. here we go. right across the street or i pick you up -- that is where they held the outlaw frank james. frank and jesse were the most notorious outlaws because they got away with it for almost 16 years. they also held a man there named william clark cointreau. that is the man who burnt northern kansas to the ground during the war. it is also the scene of a dramatic jailbreak during our first civil war battle. 11, william clark
his soldiers broke into that jail and freed 39 men. those men were jailed because they would not sign a loyalty of to the union. 1880's is when jail,eld frank and that but the jail door was never locked. >> that sounds like andy griffith. >> by the end of the tour, you will understand why they never locked the door on the most of -- most notorious outlaw in our nation. we cannot talk about independence without talking about harry s truman. he had a famous line.
>> the buck stops here. >> i will show you this. it is called clinton's soda fountain today but back then it was clinton's drugstore. that is where he had his first job. he opened this store at 6:30 a.m., mopped the floors, dust the shelves and made three dollars per week. he worked all day long on saturday. they paid him with 30 silver dollars. his father made him quit working because he was only 14. he was afraid he would get behind on his schoolwork. did you know some of the local folks think that this statue is inappropriate. >> why is that? >> look at it. he don't have his hat on. presidenty been vice 82 days when president roosevelt passed away. he was summoned to the white house for the oath of office.
he went back to the congressional office to pick his hat up first. go without don't their hats. he traveled all over the country, in his own car, at his own expense, looking at buildings before deciding on this design. this one was designed after independence hall in philadelphia where the declaration of independence was sgiigned. right here is the oldest courthouse in mississippi. that's 191 years ago. the man who built this log cabin courthouse's name was sam shepard. they cut those trees down along the square area here. the reason that those logs are in great condition, they're blac
k walnut trees. sam shepard squared those logs with a broad axe, stacked them, and built it. and the county paid his master 150 dollars. sam shepard was a slave. his master got the money. write up on the west end of the courthouse, that is the same location where they bought and sold people. a lot of the original trappers and traders wanted to call this blue county after two little rivers. the later settlers from kentucky and tennessee moved up here and brought the slaves and plantation with them. they outvoted them and named it jackson. more civil war vought got --
more civil war battles were fought here than any other state. wasfirst civil war battle william clarke quantrill breaking those men out of jail. the second battle was 1864. general sterling price came from arkansas, he got whipped in westport. general price was a two-term governor of the state of missouri before the stat civil war. that means the governor attacking his own state. what put him in this position? the union army marched out of st. louis, missouri, into jefferson city, and they ran the elected legislature out of the state house before they could succeed from the union. when that happened, they declared martial law. mr. price took control of the missouri militia and fought in the confederacy. our elected legislature went to
arkansas, seceded from the union, but it was never recognized or official from another state. we're headed to the city limits of independence. give me a yeehaw. >> yeehaw! >> here we are. this treatise called ruby avenue. some think it was named after a lady named ruby, but it was named after a man named colonel ruby. road on his property line at ground level so he could sell some lots to some of the the mill.n who worked at sne of the lots was bes truman's birthplace. her father -- it is a privately
owned home. this one says george bingham, the artist i told you about. after the war, they sold this property to the wagner family. it is a sight to see. it has 90% of the original furnishings from the wagner estate still in the home. 5, 1000 wagons left our town in one month. it wasn't the busiest years. 1849, the gold rush years. in those years they claim it was literally three square miles around our city of people camping preparing to go west. they claim that there were 80,000 people here during that goldrush alone. one of the largest voluntary migrations in the history of man.
haveis is what it would looked like. >> if we travel down this road, the ground on the left side will gradually get higher and higher. the valley up in the middle, that was not put there by a road crew. that was worn in by the wagon traffic. >> what trails are we talking? >> this is the santa fe oregon trail. all three trails went south. as we travel the road will get lower and lower. we're headed into has a name. it is called a wagon swell. the ground used to go straight across. this was all wallowed out by those wagons. giddy up. this was the wagner-gaetz flower
mail. today it is the pioneers museum. you can read everything that pioneers prayed over and cursed about along the way. my mother will tell you that the ones who prayed made it and the didn't.ho cursed i have a feeling they all did a little of both. building withhe the green trim. that is the alton railroad depot. that is the train station that the governor frank james stepped out on when he was escorted from mississippi to independence to stand trial. when james turned himself in, after jesse had been shot in the back by one of his own men for the reward, there was a mob that wanted to hang frank james. the governor was true to frank.
frank, you will receive the same trial as the president's son would receive. the governor escorted frank from jailrain station to the where you got in the wagon. do you know what the locals did when he arrived? they threw a dinner in his honor and he was acquitted of all charges. four counties of southerners, businesses, barnes, burned to the ground. if your daddy had thought for the regular company, after the war he could come back and get a pardon. he would have to pay the taxes on his burned-out property to keep it. three yeraars worth of taxes. the only way that your dad or any other southern could he property was to go to union bankers and beg to borrow money at high rates of interest to pay
those taxes and try to put crop in the ground. landyou had carpetbaggers, speculators, or just damn yanks with money in their pockets. they started driving banks to foreclose to keep southerners off their land a second time. when frank and jesse were robbing these banks, these people were going, yeah! you can't prove that frank and jesse paid a dime of anybody's taxes. you can't prove they didn't. didn'ter they did or help people pay taxes made no difference. they were taking advantage of the people taking advantage of them. they considered them robin hoods. they brought in comforters, night.s, and -- every the doors were never locked. >> why do you think it is
important to know about the history of this town? >> it illustrates what can happen, good and evil. people poured threw and made us a nation. it can illustrate some of the most horrible things. when you start taking revenge against someone you feel has done something wrong to you, it can get into crazy stuff. >> thank you for taking the time to show us around today. >> the national frontier trail museum is dedicated to showing the history of the most iconic trail. we go inside to learn about the connection to independence, missouri. >> this is the image of horace greeley, the editor of the new york tribune. he is credited with that famous saying, "go west, young man." everyone heard tales of going
west. a diversity of people saw this as an opportunity to better the ir lives. you're in independence, missouri, at the national frontier traisils museum. we talk about lewis and clark, fe and oregon trail -- this was the jumping off point for the west. it was the farthest you can get by boat, disembark, get everything you needed for the journey. town was a bustling outfitting people for the trails. you could visit a blacksmith shop, a merchant, stay at the hotel's, visit others who might be coming back or learn what route to take. wagons toform otherwise can'her
head west. marks independence being the jumping off point for three of the western trails. the first is the santa fe trail. for all trails, there are a few different routes. the journey was about 900 miles. people made it down and back in about three months. the oregon and california trails are combined for much of their journey. they set out for independence, then they diverge. both of those journeys are 2000 miles. it took people and never just five months. people went 10 to 15 miles per day by foot. the other trail we see is the mormon pioneer trail. the mormons are pushed out of independence.
they ultimately settle in illinois, from which they the part and make it to salt lake city. many pioneers started their journeys here in independence. there were a lot of businesses that could help prepare for the journey. most people realized it was better to sell most of their ast,lies back home in the e get as far as independence, and purchase everything for the journey and new home. 1940's -- inn the the 1840's are 1850's, you would have most likely visited the blacksmith shop. you can see this behind me. blacksmiths would do everything for help fashion the metal wagon wheels, the pots and pans, tools and supplies, and whatever you needed for your mule, oxen, or horse. the journey to california took
about five months. you would have to supply all of the foodstuff and prepare for any disaster you might hit along the way. the people going to oregon and california were overwhelmingly families. peoplerage family had 10 in it. supplying for the journey took a lot of preparation. enough food to feed a family of 10 for five months. you had to get things to help you hunt when you ran out of food. you had to bring additional clothing. sometimes pregnant women would go, or people with infants. itgine the sheer preparation took to transport such a large family across the country where you would have no resources for five months. everything that you see in this case were items that were brought west on the trail. simple things. with the limited space you had
in your wagon, and the hardships he would face, you are only taking essentials. you see family heirlooms making the journey. this chair was brought back and forth to california several times. we see a family bible here. most people were practical. we see some small trunks here. this is how much space you would have for personal items. most of the space was devoted to foodstuffs and tools. this small case has an interesting story. it was brought to california and returned full of gold. somebody really found the american dream in california. if we look deeper, they found no gold in california, but were able to acquire quite a bit betting on horse races. here we can see the santa fe plaza in 1846. this was the and quebec of the santa fe trail if you are
traveling from independence. we see a merging of cultures just as there would have been in the 1840's. we have american traders coming in with goods to sell. native american women with pottery and goods to sell. people loading up donkeys with goods to sell as well. most people did not travel the santa fe trail to set up a new home. it was all about commerce. it is the one trail that goes both ways. some people turned around halfway through and came back. santa fe is a two-way trail. known as the road to santa fe, it was heavily traveled by traders. this is an original wagon that would have been used on the trail. it would've been loaded with goods to sell. peopleved quicker than
on the oregon-california trail because they wanted to get down and back in a season. most people made the journey in three months. you would have to take a large team of oxen. wagons, some models can hold up to six tons. a relatively small one would hold between one and two. the santa fe trail is a two-way trail. we see some examples of those goods. there are a lot of cultural items that they sold in the united states. this is the new cultural interaction for a lot of americans. things carved out of gourds. a uniquelatteros, mexican item for making hot chocolate, was prized in the united states.
you don't see these very often. this is the type that the mexicans would have used to harness mules and pull wagons through. as people were coming off they bring a lot of the cultural interaction. independence would have seen mexican traders and native american traders as all the same. intoally brings people contact with other cultural groups that have been isolated from. used from thetems bison. the americans bison had a huge presence. they learned from native americans different uses for bison. we have buffalo chips. tdried bison droppings. they learned they could be used to start fires.
when you get out on the plains and are running out of lumber and need to make your on emeal day,al for the collecting bison chips was an option. you could use a bladder to make a canteen. the horns could be hollowed out and used as drinking o bjects. as they went west, there were not encountering uninhabited lands. there were hundreds of tribes they came across. in the beginning, it was peaceful. native americans were happy to guide them to the best trials. they showed them how to use the best resources like bison and in many instances crossed rivers. as things go on, things get more tense.
we had the indian removal act in the 1830's. one of the most negative impacts of western migration is on the native people who are already there. that would been taken by families when they traveled west on the mormon pioneer trail. au are making supplies for emily of 10 and everything -- for a family of 10 and everything you need for your new space. you probably did not ride in the wagon unless you work bill -- unless you were ill. this is a slow journey. people writeies, about how bored they are starting to get. people into the trail to try to strike it rich. the gold is what they wanted, and some people did find it.
is from a man who went to california and made enough money to make a ring for his sweetheart and go home and marry her. people did acquire the dream, but because so many people went to california, even though there was quite a bit of gold, your chances were slim. a lot of people went home penniless. was picked death by this gentleman, william noonan. he had gone to california without his family. he was so ashamed to go home empty-handed, on his journey back home, he picked up this chair to bring to his wife so he had something to offer her. these stories are common. onot of men made the journey their own, hoping to send money home to their families or to send for them and set up a new home. the consequences of this for
women can be harsh. we have a story of rachel brown, an african-american woman, whose original letters we have here. through her correspondence with her husband, we hear about the desperate situation in ohio. as a free black woman in the 18 50's, she would have faced difficult circumstances in a time difficult for everyone. she regularly wrote to her husband saying, please send us money, please send for us, we are struggling. he was not able to. although he was more successful because he faced less his coronation, he was never able -- he faced less discrimination, he was never able to send for his family and ultimately the family split up. once families reached oregon or salt lake, their hardships had
just begun. you can see the impact the trails have had on the area, but it's not a developed town. in the end, people are able to be successful. it is through hard work in the communities that have created. visit, theyn people can see how changes happen. sometimes it is a process. sometimes it is through these moments of rapid change. collide to create what we have today and it was never a foregone conclusion. soing this museum here is a appropriate because independence becomes a view into this pivotal point in american history.
rapidly.as changing they are returning from a journey that did not go so well. differentrom socioeconomic issues. theffects the trails, but trails affect what happened in american history, as well. jail doesn't look like a jail from the outside, but on the inside there are cells that date back to before the civil war. we will take you on a tour and talk about some of this jail's most infamous prisoners. >> we are at the 1859 jail in independence, missouri.
it was a jail from 1859 to 1933. this building tells the story of frontier justice. is located on the historic independence sq uare, where pioneers left for the santa fe and oregon trail. when you approach from main street, it looks like a house. city planners at the time didn't want the first thing visitors would see to be a jail. there is a house in front of the cellblock. that is what you will see when you first come to the jail. we had two very infamous prisoners. william clarke quantrill, during the civil war, and frank james, the brother of jesse james. we want to talk about some of the people that took care of the
prisoners. there were jailors. they lived in the house we are standing in now. emigrants.ere irish for thes responsible cellblock and making sure paperwork was in order. his wife mary had to cook and clean for the prisoners. henry was the jailer until 1856. he was murdered in this home. it was right after the civil war. tensions were high. they held a lot of former confederate soldiers in the jail. it was june 13, 1866. a group of men on horseback rode to the front of the jail and told henry they were going to jail.joe --out of we don't know what henry said, but he turned and slammed the
door. as he turned, they shot him in the back. ily took him upstairs and he passed away in the bedroom. when prisoners were brought to the jail, they would have come down this corridor through the back alleyway. they would've come through the gate and would have walked down this hallway into the cellblock, here on the right. the hallway we are standing in would have been open air. to my right, this is the family's home. the brick. it was exterior, open to the elements. to my left, this cellblock. it was very separated from the family space to the jail space. this was the original cellblock built in 1859.
it is made of limestone. the limestone was locally sports -- locally sourced a mile down the road. six jail cells on this main floor and there are six on the second floor. this cell is my favorite. this was the death row cell. the people here would have been chained up constantly because they were very dangerous. this is 160 years old. this is pretty typical of what you will see. they might have had a pallet for but most likely it was bare-bones. they did not give them creature comforts. that wasn't something the county budgeted for. if you were in prison, it was because you did something bad, survey didn't think you needed good treatment. each jail cell has two different
doors. they have this one, the lattice one, and this was to pass food through. at night, they would have had this big iron door. at the entrance, they had the same lattice and the full iron door as well. this is how it would look at night. it was somebody's responsibility to lock every single jail cell. the most famous resident was frank james. he fought in the civil war with quan -- frank william clarke quantrill. he and his brother started another gang, the james younger gang. they would rob railroads and banks. in my mind, they were the first organized crime.
jesse james was shot by robert ford for the bounty on his head. frank james did not want that to happen so he turned himself in to the governor of missouri. he was incarcerated in this jail cell. he was treated like a celebrity. this is the only jail cell that is decorated. people brought him things to hang on the wall, they brought him blankets to stay warm, they brought him books to read and other creature comforts like fresh fruit and vegetables. he had a constant supply of visitors. frank james' wife, anne raulston, she was from a prominent family and she had sway. she visited him every day that he was here. he was treated more like a celebrity because he was like the robin hood. in missouri, people were still
upset over the civil war, those hends, had not healed and represented the southern ideal. taking away from the railroad companies and, not giving it back, but disrupting all of those plans. people didn't think he was a bad guy. they thought that what he was doing was good for his state. we're in the second story cellblock. what you are looking at here behind his black bars, this is what the original staircase would've been to access the second floor. this was william clarke quantrill. 1861. held in it was more for protective custody than that he had committed a crime. he had doublecrossed some northern farmers to get intel
about civil war happenings. they were trying to lynch him and hang him. as the story goes, he came to the jail and the jailer let him stay here to keep him safe for a couple days. that was right at the beginning of the civil war. william quantrill was a guer rilla raider. they had a band of raiders. they would roam the countryside. they were opposed to abolition. kansas was a free state and missouri was a slave state. ed many towns to the ground. northerniding these towns and would come to missouri where he was safe because he was crossing state lines. the first battle of independence happened august 11, 1863. the jail was held by the union army.
raid.ill led his men on a they started on the west side of the square and came toward lexington street. there was a big battle between union and confederate forces. the confederate forces did run the union out of town. that is when quantrill and his men came back to the jail. they were holding confederate soldiers here and broke their buddies out of jail. he was here twice. a couple years later, in 1864, the second battle for independence. that is when the union army chased all of the confederates out of town. it was used as a jail until 1933. when it closed, it was opened as a soup kitchen, laundromat, jack of all trades. it was the great depression so people could come for jobs. after that, it needs to the
american legion. they let it fall into disrepair. the city condemned the building. that is when the historical society stepped in. we took open -- ownership of the building on the condition that we reopen it as a museum. we reopened it as the 1859 jail, marshall's home, and museum. we will be celebrating our 60th anniversary. 1831, mormon settlers landed here in place -- and certainly safe place to worship. made a prophecy that this would be the site of a new temple. in expectation of the second coming of christ. learn more about mormons from independence and why they were chased out of the city.
while he was here in independence, it was made known to him that jackson county was the center place, where zion should be established. it was also revealed that there should be a temple built. that was his instruction but because of the problem that existed that never would happen. joseph smith did dedicate a plot of land to the temple site. we also believe it was revealed to the profit joseph smith and in the future, jesus christ will return again to the earth. we believe this is one of the places that he will return to, and that we will be able to build a temple on this temple
site where the savior will be able to come. if you were to visit this temple site which is just a couple of blocks off of the town square of independence, it is now just a beautiful piece of grass. to us it is a very sacred site. many members of our church visit that site to feel the sacredness. this site is not only important church, but it is important to other churches that are closely related to us. they have established their --rches and their temples they also believe it will play an important part of the future when jesus christ comes again.
one of the churches is the church of christ. another is the community of christ. we have our visitor center on another corner, the church of jesus christ of latter-day saints. it is a sight that was developed and built for historic and religious purposes. we talk about the belief and doctrine with our church. oftalk about the history what happened with church members when they first migrated from the east. understand ant to little background about why they came here. number one, they felt like they were being directed by god through a profit. the profit's name was joseph smith. he organized the church in new york in 1830. since that time, there have been missionaries sent far and wide. when converts
became members of the church, they gathered in new york and later in ohio. taking 30 the joseph smith received a revelation about where zion should be established. it was made known to him that it should happen in the western united states by the borders of the indian territory, which, at that time, was missouri. there were four missionaries sent to proselytize among the native american tribes along the border, but they stayed in independence. joseph smith received further instruction that he, himself, should come to missouri, and it would be revealed to him when he got here where zion was to be established. where were the saints to be established?
most members of the church understand zion to be a asographic place, such independence was established, a gather in this whole area of jackson county. it was also to be a place where a special economic system was to be lived. this special unity that existed among members of the church in a zion society would be where they worked for one another. there was a special equality about it. everyoneonomic sense, does well. the most important thing that makes all of this happen is that they live in a righteous way. god's commandments. it has been described in some of their journals as a paradise. members of the church began
coming in 1831. they got excited about it, as anyone would, to establish the community such as that. became a little too quickly. over two years, there was about 1200 members of the church that came to this area. this was a new way of life for them. whereame from the east civilization was more established. there was a greater refinement. they came to the frontier and it was a new way of living. there was basically nothing here. they had to build their own homes. they started to build schools. they had to begin farming. this was mostly prairie land. they had to begin farming and raising crops.
arrived, theys were anxious to tell other people, not only about the religion, but the purpose of why they came. neighbors,at with the did that with missionaries that were sent out, they also did it with a printing press that was purchased in ohio. they brought it to independence and set up a printing shop. this was important to them because they wanted to have a voice. they wanted to be able to publish the revelations that their profits were -- that their prophet was receiving. because of the numbers moving in here, some local settlers felt threatened about what might happene with the change of
politics. they were concerned the members of the church would vote in block and they would lose their influence of the local government here. under the missouri compromise. slavery was allowed at this time. members of the church came from the north and the east and had a different viewpoint about slavery. that concerned the settlers that were here. there began to be contention when the members of the church were asked to leave. they said, we have established constitution to live here and develop our community as we see fit. took offensetlers to that and there began to be
contention. it broke into physical violence after a period of time. the members of the church in jackson county were here about two years. when they left, they moved across the missouri river. it was close by into clay county. they tried to become established again like they had in jackson county. the migration from the east continued. the citizens became concerned. they asked the members of the church to leave clay county. they moved into northern counties.nto two they were up there for two years. the contention for the same reasons started up their.
there were a that few battles, a few lives taken. the governor of missouri issued a military order instructing the state militia to go to caldwell county and to arrest the leaders of the church, including the president of the church, joseph smith. because of the military order, it instructed that they should forcibly push or remove all members of the church out of missouri, which did happen. they left and went to illinois. they tried to establish their the, which they called -- new gathering place for members of the church. there were conference coming from england, different parts of the night it states, an -- of the united states, and their
town was growing rapidly. there were forces that contended with the church. there was a lot of pressure, legal and military, put on the members of the town. it resulted in the martyrdom of the profit joseph smith -- prophet joseph smith and his brother hiram. could not felt it exist within the boundaries of the united states because of all the trouble that had been so they felt that their safety would be better preserved in the western united states. that is when brigham young became the new president and prophet of the church and moved the church to utah. today, this visitor's site, thousands of members of our church visit here every year.
they come back, drawn by their testimony, and the gratitude that they feel toward those early members of the church that came here and tried to do what the prophet was asking them to do. making that sacrifice is a very sacred thing to us. it helped them become something as a people. god refined them through this process. hisdeepened their faith and t feeling of covenant that they had made to god. all of that happened through this experience beginning here in independence. faithesses us in our because we see what they could do. we see how strong they were in
their obedience and it makes us ♪ also. our city's doorstep recently traveled to independence, missouri to learn about its rich history. learn more about independence and other stops on our tour at c-span.org/cities tour. you are watching american history tv all weekend, every weekend on c-span3. 50 years ago, on january 20, 1969, richard nixon took the oath of office to become the 30 second president of the united states. real america, -- "reel am erica," video of the inauguration anchored by roger mine and walker cronkite. it includes